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|Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Omhain |
Dunoon, looking north from Castle Hill towards Hunters Quay. The Victorian pier is to the right and the Queen's Hall is to the left
Dunoon shown within Argyll and Bute
|Population||8,251  (2001 census)
est. 8,310 (2006),
|OS grid reference|
|- Edinburgh||82.1 miles (132.1 km)|
|- London||434 miles (698 km)|
|Council area||Argyll and Bute|
|Lieutenancy area||Argyll and Bute|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Argyll and Bute|
|Scottish Parliament||Argyll and Bute|
Dunoon Pier originated in 1835; however, the current structure was built in 1895. Prior to the late 1960s, fleets of paddle steamers brought holidaymakers doon the watter from Glasgow to it and numerous other piers on the Clyde. Until June 2011 the pier was used daily by Caledonian MacBrayne, who ran a regular car-ferry service to Gourock and by the PS Waverley, the last surviving seagoing paddle steamer.
Overlooking the pier is a large statue to Robert Burns' love, Highland Mary, also known as Bonny Mary O' Argyll, which is located on Castle Hill, just below the remains of the 12th-Century Dunoon Castle. Very little remains of the castle, which would originally have belonged to the Lamont family but became a royal castle with the Earls of Argyll (Campbells) as hereditary keepers, paying a nominal rent of a single red rose to the sovereign. In earlier times, Mary, Queen of Scots stayed at the castle circa 1563 and granted several charters during her visit. The castle was destroyed during the rebellion in 1685.
In the spring of 2005, Dunoon seafront received a new breakwater, located just to the south of the main pier. As well as protecting the Victorian pier, a new linkspan was installed alongside the breakwater to allow the berthing and loading of ro-ro ferries instead of the side-loading ferries presently serving the main pier. A tendering competition to serve the new linkspan between two interested parties, namely Caledonian MacBrayne and local operator Western Ferries, failed when both parties withdrew from the tendering process. In June 2011, the outcome of a renewed tendering process saw a regular passenger-only ferry service using the breakwater for berthing. The Waverley also berths there during the summer months.
Dunoon is accessible by both land and sea routes.
There are two ferry operators who provide a frequent service from Gourock to Dunoon. Local company Western Ferries carries motor vehicles and passengers. They ply the McInroy's Point-to-Hunters Quay route, whilst David MacBrayne Ltd subsidiary, Argyll Ferries, runs a passenger only service from Gourock pier to Dunoon breakwater. At Gourock Pier, a First ScotRail train service provides access to the national rail network via the Inverclyde Line.
Public transport within Dunoon and the surrounding area is provided under Government subsidy by bus and coach operator West Coast Motors.
The West Coast Motors 486 service provides a regular return journey from Dunoon town centre to Inveraray, where it connects with a Scottish Citylink service onward to Campbeltown and Oban. McGill's Bus Services operate service 907, a frequent coach service from Dunoon to Glasgow Buchanan Street Bus Station. The service travels aboard the Western Ferries crossing and operates via Greenock and Braehead Shopping Centre.
Tourist attractions 
The Queen's Hall is the town's major multi-function hall complex. Situated opposite the head of the pier and built in 1958, the building houses four function suites and a large main hall. The main hall houses a full working stage with professional sound and lighting equipment, and in recent years it has attracted popular bands such as Pink Floyd, Blur, The Saw Doctors, David Gray. Morrissey, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Primal Scream among others.
The arboretum at Benmore Botanic Garden, part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, is situated 7 miles (11 km) north of the town, just before Loch Eck. The garden, formerly a private garden for the Younger family, is now open to the public. Its 150 acres (0.61 km2) feature some of the tallest trees in Britain, including an avenue of Giant Redwoods, some of which are over 120 feet (37 m) high.
As with the rest of the British Isles and in perhaps in particular Scotland, Dunoon experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. It is an exceptionally wet part of the country, particularly so for a place near sea level, with annual average rainfall totals nearing 2,400 mm (94 in) per year. The closest MetOffice weather station is at Benmore Botanic Gardens, around 7 miles north of the town centre.
|Climate data for Benmore Botanic Gardens 12m asl, 1971-2000, extremes 1960- (Weather station 7 miles (11 km) to the North of Dunoon)|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.4
|Average high °C (°F)||6.5
|Average low °C (°F)||1.0
|Record low °C (°F)||−13.9
|Precipitation mm (inches)||298.76
|Source: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI|
Holy Loch 
As the Cold War intensified, Holy Loch became internationally famous when in 1961 the U.S. Navy submarine tender USS Proteus (AS-19) brought Polaris ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament protesters to the Firth of Clyde at nearby Sandbank, and Dunoon provided shore facilities. Holy Loch was, for 30 years, the home port of US Navy Submarine Squadron 14. In 1992, the Holy Loch base was deemed unnecessary following the demise of the Soviet Union and subsequently withdrawn. The last submarine tender to be based there, the USS Simon Lake, left Holy Loch in March 1992, leading to a major and continuing downturn in the local economy. In May 2012, Dunoon and Campbeltown were jointly named as the most vulnerable rural places in Scotland to a downturn in a report by the Scottish Agricultural College. The "vulnarability index" ranked 90 Scottish locations according to factors associated with economic and social change.
The town's sporting arena is Dunoon Stadium, which is located in the north of the town, near Dunoon Grammar School. When it hosted football matches, it had the largest capacity of any amateur ground in Scotland. Its main use nowadays is as the focal point of the Cowal Highland Gathering. Motor cycle dirt track racing (or speedway) was staged at the stadium on 18 June 1932 as part of the annual Dunoon and Cowal Agricultural Show. A demonstration event had been staged in May 1932.
Cowal Rugby Club is the home of rugby in the Cowal Peninsula in Scotland. Formed in 1976 the club reached its peak in 2008 with its first league victory in the Scottish hydro Electric Western Regional League West Division 2.
Cowal Highland Gathering 
The Cowal Highland Gathering attracts hundreds of contestants and many thousands of spectators from all over the world. It is held annually over the final weekend in August.
Dunoon's local newspaper, published weekly on Fridays, is the Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard.
The town is also served by a local news and features website, CowalCourier.com, which is updated every weekday, with occasional weekend updates as news and events dictate. It was launched on 3 October 2011.
Dunoon is served by Cowal Community Hospital, which is run by NHS Highland. The hospital provides a 24-hour accident and emergency department along with a maternity unit, palliative care hospice, dental surgery, and one general healthcare ward providing 10 beds.
Ambulance cover is provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service. The Emergency Medical Retrieval Service encompasses Dunoon within its catchment area, enabling rapid access to the skills of a consultant in emergency or intensive-care medicine, as well as facilitating transfers to larger, better-equipped city hospitals.
Notable people 
Possibly Dunoon's most famous resident was Sir Harry Lauder (1870–1950), whose mansion, Laudervale, stood just south of Dunoon on Bullwood Road. After a fire, which burnt over half of it, it stood ruinous until c. 1980 when it and the stable blocks were demolished. Much of the grounds were subsequently sold for housing development. The development there today preserves the Laudervale name.
Conservative Cabinet minister Virginia Bottomley (Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone) was born in Dunoon, as were former Manchester United player and QPR manager Stewart Houston, actor Sylvester McCoy, Tom Wisniewski of the Christian punk band MxPx and Lyn-Z, artist and bass player for the rock group Mindless Self Indulgence.
Local connection 
Grant Morrison, writer of Superman and Batman comic books, has moved from hometown Glasgow to a renovated mansion just outside of Dunoon, and spends part of the year in the town, and part in Los Angeles.
Peter Dorschel, who was of East German birth, briefly rented a house in Dunoon in April 1967. This provided him with a view of the activities in the Holy Loch Polaris submarine base that caused him to be imprisoned for espionage.
Dunoon Grammar School 
Dunoon Grammar School was founded in 1641. It has many notable former pupils, including the Labour Party politicians John Smith, George Robertson (later head of NATO), Brian Wilson and the Reverend Donald Caskie, also known as the Tartan Pimpernel.
In popular culture 
In the late 1960s, it was the subject of a song entitled "Why Don't They Come Back to Dunoon?" by The Humblebums. This was a less-than-flattering ditty, mourning the declining tourist trade in the town. "There was a competition in a Glasgow newspaper," Billy Connolly once said, in a short interjection during a 1969 performance of the song. "The first prize was a week in Dunoon, and the second prize was a fortnight in Dunoon." Dunoon is referenced in the 2010 Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre sketch 'The Getaway', in which the bank-robbing Socks mistakenly heist four kilos of small denomination coins and are forced to scale back their hideaway destination from Venezuela to the small Scottish town.
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